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Western Animation / Being Ian

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Why can't the world just see things my way?

Meet Ian Kelley. He's a 12-year-old boy from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada with a big imagination, big ideas, and big dreams. Ian aspires to become a great filmmaker one day and win an Academy Award of his own. For now however, he's stuck trying to survive his everyday life, creating elaborate schemes (usually with the help of his trusty filmmaking camera and his best friends Sandi Crocker and Tyrone Washington) and trying to fit in with a world that just won't seem to match up to his cinematic passions.

In particular, Ian must cope with his quirky family, which consists of his father Ken (who runs a piano and organ shop called Kelley's Keyboards with a kooky Dutch immigrant named Odbald as his sole employee), his mother Vicky (who divides her time between helping Ken run the store and as a homemaker cooking up disgusting vegetarian dishes), his two teenage brothers, Kyle and Korey (who constantly prank Ian and pick on him), and his grandmothers (Ken's Violent Glaswegian mother Eleanor and Vicky's doting Polish mother Mary Menske).

But some day, mark his words, Ian Kelley will be able to make it big in his crazy little world - the world of being Ian!

Being Ian is a Canadian animated sitcom created by voice actor Ian James Corlett of The Ocean Group dubbing team (who had previously created another animated series, Yvon of the Yukon), inspired by his own childhood experiences. Produced by Nelvana and Studio B Productions (who would collaborate again on Class of the Titans), the show was shown on YTV in its home country, but also saw exposure on US television as part Qubo's Night Owl block. It ran from January 1, 2005 until October 11, 2008 with a grand total of 65 episodes over 3 seasons.

Tropes in this series include:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Used in Ian's Fantasy Sequences, and sometimes used on vehicles in the (in-universe) real life.
  • All Just a Dream: In "Being Principal Bill", when some home renovators come to fix up the house, Ian finds a cave in his room that leads into his school principal's brain, à la Being John Malkovich, and makes him do embarrassing stuff during the school assembly. It's revealed that Ian was dreaming after a ceiling title fell on him and knocked him out.
  • Author Avatar: Ian Kelley is basically meant to be series creator Ian James Corlett when he was a kid.
  • Balloon Belly: Happens to Sandi and Tyrone when they both eat a stockpile of chocolate that Tyrone had hidden in Sandi's locker to try to sabotage her efforts of beating him in fitness.
  • Beach Episode: The Kelley family go to the beach in "Bad Day at White Rock". While the rest of the clan engage in typical beachside shenanigans, Ian gets stranded on a sandbar in a Cast Away parody.
  • Big Brother Bully: Ian's older brothers, Kyle and Korey, especially the former.
  • Blessed with Suck: As shown in "The Fifth and a Half Sense" when Ian gains the ability to smell the future, at first he's treated as a hero, but then everybody starts trying to take advantage of him.
  • Canada, Eh?: Set in Burnaby, British Columbia, Being Ian has lots of shout outs to Canadian culture. The kids attend Celine Dion High School, and another nearby school is named for William Shatner. And of course, everyone is obsessed with hockey.
  • Career Resurrection: invoked Dirk Octane is a former action star who becomes such a has been that he's working at Tiffany's party. While attending the party, Ian, who is a huge fan of Octane, reveals that he that he had to shave his head due to having lice and is made fun of. Defending Ian, Octane reveals that he too is bald. This move resurrects his career.
  • Companion Cube: In "Bad Day at White Rock", Ian gets stranded on a sandbar in a parody of Cast Away, and ends up talking to an old styrofoam coffee cup.
  • Company Cross References: Yvon of the Yukon, another series from Studio B Productions (and also by Ian James Corlett), is referenced several times in the series, including the show being directly namedropped in "Home Alone", Yvon appearing frozen in ice at an oddities museum in "Sask-Watch", the theme song being heard from a TV in "Snow Fun", and Ian using a doll of Yvon of demonstrate a point in "Kelley's Seven".
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Once, when Korey tries to build a fort made out of empty boxes, while Kyle sleeps in a box next to him. When Korey wakes him up and tells him to get to work, Kyle tell him he "wasn't sleeping, he was lying very still with his eyes closed."
  • Dreadful Musician: Sandi is a terrible singer.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the end of the Series Fauxnale "Hurry for Hollywood" two parter, Ian participates in the filmmaker contest and he actually wins with his entry with him even receiving standing ovation from the audience.
  • Egg Sitting: In "The Good Egg", Ian and Sandi get paired together to watch over an egg. Sandi gives the egg to Ian to keep and he ends up becoming emotionally attached to it.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Fricken Chicken Guy refers to Ian as "Kid".
  • Expy: Royal Stilton is one for Elton John.
  • Fake Crossover: With Yvon of the Yukon during YTV's "Big BBQ Blowout", though they only interact during the bumpers rather than than either series.
  • Fanboy: Ian is a huge fan of movies.
  • Fantasy Sequence: Constantly. Ian is a chronic daydreamer. He's also obsessed with movies, so these are frequently shout outs.
  • Fat Flex: In the episode "What's Combover You?", Ken Kelly flexes his muscles in the bathroom, and all of a sudden, it turns into a middle age pot belly, much to his shock!
  • Fiery Redhead: Sandi.
  • Funny Foreigner:
    • Odbald, the Dutch guy who works at Ken's store.
    • There's also Ian's Polish and Scottish grandmothers.
  • Giftedly Bad: Sandi doesn't know that she is a horrible singer.
  • Grossup Closeup:
    • One happens in "Adventures in Kelley Sitting", when the sleep deprived Ken and Vicky scare a costumer.
    • Another happens in "Winning Isn't Ian's Thing", with Grandma Kelley using her "Forgettin" face on Odbald.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Grandma Kelley. As opposed to Grandma Menske, who's more of a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Occasionally, this is Kyle and Korey's response to something another character said.
  • How Unscientific!: Usually averted, with fantasy sequences turning out to be dreams or daydreams, but played straight in the episode where Ian can predict the future with his nose. Which itself contains a Dream Sequence based on "The Nose" by Nikolai Gogol, of all things: Ian's magic nose pops off his face and starts living a better life without him. Ian wakes to find he still has his nose... but it can still predict the future. Naturally, he fears his dream itself is a prediction and decides I Just Want to Be Normal.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Mr. Kelley is stuck in traffic with Kyle and Korey while trying to deliver a organ to a client. He yells out the window of his car:
    Mr. Kelley: Come on, get out of the way! I've got a pregnant... goat, that I need to get to... the airport! (to Kyle) Quick, make a sound like a pregnant goat!
  • Imagine Spot: Ian has one of these in nearly every episode, and it always doubles as a reference to a movie.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Despite the fact that Dennis mumbles, other characters can understand him.
  • Kid Hero: Ian, obviously.
  • Kids Versus Adults: "Band 'o Bruthaz" sees Ian, Kyle and Korey start a boy band and enter a talent show, which alienates their parents. In retaliation, Vicky becomes the manager of the punk band Gob, and Ken and Odbald form their own metal band.
  • Land of Tulips and Windmills: In the episode "The Curse", Ian had a horrific flashback in which he is in the Netherlands trying to escape from girls who wear traditional Dutch clothing while being surrounded by tulips and windmills.
  • Laxative Prank: Kyle and Korey does this to Ian with a chocolate bunny in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?".
  • Left the Background Music On: In one episode, a piano piece plays when Ken worries about Ian finding his baby photos. Ken turns around and tells Korey to stop playing the piano.
  • Long Title: The episodes "The Kelley Boys and the Mysterious Lighthouse Mystery" and "Scream Because I Know What You Did to That Psycho Last Summer."
  • Made Myself Sad: The opening of the B-plot of "The Kelleys" has Grandma Kelley attempting to brag about how much she enjoys her carefree reclining years, only to depress herself when she realizes she only has her impending death to look forward to.
  • Mr. Imagination: Ian is intelligent, if somewhat naïve, and he has a very large imagination, and often gets lost in daydreams (many of which are parodies of famous films).
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: In the episode "The Curse", Obald admitted that he used profanity from his book of Dutch curse words.
  • No, You Hang Up First: Kyle does this with his girlfriend in "Hurry for Hollywood".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Unlike Korey, Kyle is actually pretty smart, but he plays dumb to fit in with his friends.
  • Old-Timey Cinema Countdown: The intro starts with a countdown from 4 to 1. After that, Ian crashes through the screen in an airplane and the rest of the intro plays out.
  • Only Sane Man: Sandi and Tyrone. This is especially the case for the former in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", where Korey gets trapped on a stuck escalator and she's the only one to point out he can just walk up the steps.
  • Parodies for Dummies: In "Dummy Up", Ian uses a book called "Ventriloquism For Morons" to learn how to be a ventriloquist.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: Ian does this in the beginning of "Home Alone".
  • Rubber-Hose Limbs: Everybody has this thanks to the art style.
  • Sand Bridge at Low Tide: A sand bridge at low tide causes Ian to get stranded on a sand spit in "Bad Day at White Rock", which causes him to start living a Cast Away parody.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In "Crime-Corder", Ian and Tyrone start a detective agency and spend the episode competing for the love of their first (and only) client. Long story short, they solve the case, but it turns out their client already has a boyfriend.
  • Shout-Out: Mainly to movies in Ian's fantasy sequences.
  • Slower Than a Snail: The B plot of "Miss Tweenage Burnaby" revolves around Korey being tasked to mow the lawn, except the riding mower he's using is so absurdly slow, even going full speed, that a passing by turtle moves faster than it while laughing at him. This motivates Korey to modify the mower to make it faster, dubbing his creation "Monster Mow", except he winds up making it too fast and powerful for him to control where he's going.
  • Snowed-In: In "Snow Fun", Ian, Ty, and Sandi get trapped in school when a snowstorm hits.
  • Stock Shout-Outs: At one point in the show, Mr. Kelley has to woo Mrs. Kelley; he does this via a Balcony Wooing Scene, holding up a boombox a-la Say Anything.... Ken has concerns of the boombox electrocuting him, and he asks Ian (who set the situation up as a deliberate reference to Say Anything...) to turn off the hose-induced fake rain.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In "Million Dollar Sandi", the principal tasks Ian with finding someone to compete in a boxing match with a rival school. The school's only good boxer turns out to be Sandi, but the principal won't let a girl compete. Cue this.
  • Those Two Guys: Sandi and Tyrone.
  • Token Trio: Ian, Tyrone and Sandi.
  • Tomboy: Sandi. She prefers to play sports.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Korey.
  • The Unintelligible: Dennis, who mumbles instead of speaking in full sentences.



Video Example(s):


Being Ian

Ian gets tempted by his shoulder devil to check out forbidden hockey footage.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / GoodAngelBadAngel

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